Tag Archives: Claire Beauchamp

“But What About Frank?” – Outlander S1, Ep7 (The Wedding)

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The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority. – Stanley Milgram

Episode 7 – The Wedding

Most often when I consider the ripple effect reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander had on my life, it was in terms of how it may have impacted my choice of spouse rather than the relationships with my friends. For a number of years it was a personal mission to ensure that every friend, acquaintance and occasionally even strangers read it. The alchemy of this story has become legend between my friends and I. Though coincidentally my husband is a 6’4 former red head but of English, rather than Scots ancestry, other than his stature and once red hair he doesn’t bear much resemblance to the character, which now that I think about it, is probably a good thing.

From IMDB The Wedding (S1, Ep6) – Marriage to a Scot seems to be the only legal way out to save Claire from falling into the paws of Black Jack Randall. And Jamie accepts to become her husband and protect her. Claire is overwhelmed by circumstances that are forcing her into becoming an adulteress and a bigamist. The hasty marriage takes place and, in order to be legal, it must be consummated that night. 

Perhaps recommending and discussing Outlander was the first outlet for my many book related opinions that would later be fulfilled by the creation of my blog. My bestie resisted my efforts for a solid seven years …until Christmas showing up more than two hours late and in a state.

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When I asked her what the problem was she cried “But what about Frank?!?!?!?!?” I don’t remember what my response was other than I am sure a snort and something to the effect of “Obviously you haven’t read enough about Jamie yet!” However more than a decade later my opinion has changed somewhat and this thought seemed to echo throughout this most recent episode as Claire braced herself to consummate her marriage to Jamie.

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To avoid a torturous, literally, interrogation at the hands of Captain Randall, Claire is faced with an untenable choice. As a English subject she is at the mercy of their military, however if she were to become a Scot, Randall would have no legal means to impel her to submit to questioning. Rather than marry her himself Dougal has come up with an ingenious solution that not only secures her safety but keeps her accessible as his nephew, Young Jamie’s wife.

After watching the episode and recovering from the glory that is Sam Heughan sans vêtements, (truly, he is glorious) I found myself reflecting on my friend’s words. Told in flashbacks that are incredibly romantic you see the wedding from both Claire and Jamie’s perspectives. Despite wanting to smack Claire for her reticence I also found I could understand her reluctance to simply grab Jamie and deflower him already. Alas my gratification was not to be immediately fulfilled, truly this episode was possibly the most skilfully rendered yet and that it saying something after the visceral horror of Jamie’s flogging in The Garrison Commander, which proved that in this case my imagination did not come close to doing the torture justice.

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Twenty years ago when I read Outlander for the first time I don’t remember giving the sanctity of Claire’s vows to Frank much thought. However, when I laughingly reminded teachergirl73 of her distress, she was as dismissive as I once was of the small complication of having two husbands. Whether it was the long years of separation during the war or the degrading treatment at the hands of his doppelgänger or quite simply the irresistible pull of Jamie, it is clear that the hold of her other life is beginning to falter.

Unfortunately we will only be able to ponder this for the next 6 months following next week’s mid-season finale. In lieu of methadone I would highly recommend keeping the first 8 episodes on your PVR for repeated viewings.

Both Sides Now (S1, Ep8) – PROMO

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“Stranger In A Strange Land” – Outlander (Sassenach – S1, Ep1) 

Like Claire’s recall of the vase in the window, I vividly remember the day I purchased my first copy of Outlander not long after its first printing two decades ago. This is noteworthy only because if one considers the number of trips I have made to the bookstore that one visit should stand out is rather astonishing. Being a somewhat “particular” although some might say peculiar reader it was the hefty size (627 pages) that appealed to me. I wanted a story to lose myself in, Outlander granted that wish in spades. It is unequivocally my favorite book of all time though I will admit that it took the television premiere to remind me of that fact.

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SYNOPSIS – The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

CLAIRE-AND-FRANKAfter viewing the pilot episode, I believe the television series promises to be just as compelling as the internationally best-selling novel. The production quality of this adaptation is utterly exquisite. The set, acting and casting is truly flawless. I think teachergirl73 was almost disappointed by my lack of criticism and being a Virgo finding fault isn’t usually a challenge for me! Truly, I often find it more difficult to critique books and films that I love. It is next to impossible to find adequate words to do justice to something that fulfils your every expectation particularly when you anticipate disappointment. That is the situation in which I currently find myself, I thought there was no possible way that they could satisfy my expectations. I guess that is why you should “never say never”.

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Several months ago when the still shots of the cast were released I was nonplussed but not dissuaded either but I found I didn’t truly dare to hope until I happened upon the first teaser trailer. Later we were fortunate enough to watch some of the coverage of the panel session with the cast, author Diana Gabaldon and creative head Ronald D. Moore at Comic Con 2014. If listening to the cast and crew describing the journey of this story to television was not convincing enough the clips allayed any fears fans would have about the adherence to the spirit if not the exact word of the novel.

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Sassenach (S1, Ep1) deviates very little from the beginning of the original story with former war nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and her husband Frank travelling to Scotland on a second honeymoon to reacquaint themselves with each other after only having seen one another a handful of times over the course of World War II. Claire and Frank witness an early morning druid ritual at sacred standing stones for Samhain. When Claire returns alone later she is inexplicably drawn to the stones and awakens to find herself amidst a skirmish between British red coated soldiers and a band of Scottish Highlanders.

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In a situation not unlike jumping from the pot into the fire Claire finds herself rescued from probable rape at the hands of her husband Frank’s ancestor and doppelgänger Captain Jack Randall to captivity with the very men that he is pursuing. Hidden in a crofter’s cottage she cannot allow the men to attempt to reset an injured man’s dislocated shoulder without providing aid and so we are introduced to young Jamie MacTavish.

Outlander_Cast_Jamie_420x560_v2One could chalk up the much of the appeal of this new series to the extremely bonny Sam Heughan in a brilliant casting selection as the iconic character of Jamie Fraser. But that would be short-sighted considering wondrous detail evidenced in every scene. I eagerly anticipate what is to come in upcoming weeks. Episodes of Outlander can be viewed online via STARZ and Sunday evenings on Showcase at 10PM ET. If you missed the debut episode or simply want to watch it again Showcase is replaying the pilot titled Sassenach at 11AM ET August 31st.

Castle Leoch (S1, Ep2) – PROMO

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